Western Springs police are warning residents following a string of residential burglaries to be on the lookout for suspicious activity.
The department’s alert says it is actively investigating all of the cases, which happened on Dec. 29 and Jan. 18. Jewelry, cash and gift cards were taken from homes in four different incidents on those days, police said.
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In neighboring Indian Head Park, a man in a mask broke into a residence Wednesday evening and cut the arm of a girl who was home alone, police say.
“The scariest thing is, we don’t know how he got in there,” said neighbor Kerry Willis.
Indian Head Park police were not immediately available Thursday for further comment.
It’s unclear if the burglaries in Western Springs are related to the Indian Head Park break-in. Western Springs police say there's nothing to suggest a connection but they aren't ruling it out either. The Major Case Assistance Team, which includes Western Springs police, is working on the Indian Head Park case.
Indian Head Park police are still trying to find the suspect and are sending out a robo call to community members warning them of the incident and telling them to lock their doors.
“It’s unnerving, it can happen anywhere though,” said Indian Head Park resident Kelly Collins.
In 2011, a man broke into an Indian Head Park home and stabbed 14-year-old Kelli O'Laughlin to death when she discovered him committing a burglary. John Wilson Jr. was found guilty of the crime in 2014.
“That’s the first thing I thought about—and it brings a lot back,” said Collins.
Police in Western Springs say a common tactic burglars use is to knock on the front door of a home to see if anyone answers. If someone comes to the door, they ask for someone that not live there or make up an excuse for being there. The department suggests developing a relationship with neighbors so residents can keep an eye on one another’s homes for each other.
Western Springs police also ask that if anyone has further information on the burglaries that they call them at 708-246-8540.